MORLEY LITERATURE FESTIVAL: Ian Rankin, Mark Radcliffe and Doctor Who writers among top names revealed for festival

Mark Radcliffe, appearing at Morley Literature Festival.
Mark Radcliffe, appearing at Morley Literature Festival.

FROM Doctor Who to Dickens via one of the country’s most popular thriller writers – the full programme for this year’s Morley Literature Festival has been unveiled and it promises something for everyone.

The hugely popular Inspector Rebus author Ian Rankin is one of the star names in this year’s line-up, which also includes popular BBC DJ and broadcaster Mark Radcliffe, official Grumpy Old Man and comedian Arthur Smith and scientist, historian and broadcaster Adam Hart-Davies.

Ian Rankin, appearing at Morley Literature Festival

Ian Rankin, appearing at Morley Literature Festival

Lucinda Hawksley, the great-great-great granddaughter of Charles Dickins, will be the special guest at this year’s Morley Literary Luncheon where she will be speaking about her recent biography of her famous relative.

Sure to be one of the most popular events of the entire festival will be an evening with Doctor Who writers Mark Morris, Mark Michalowski and Paul Magrs, who between them have penned the audio books and novels that accompany the series.

The writers’ question and answer session two years ago attracted a huge audience of Who fans to Morley Town Hall and this year’s event will be followed by a talk from Alwyn Turner in Morley Library about his book The Man Who Invented the Daleks, a biography of original Doctor Who writer Terry Nation.

Comedian Arthur Smith will be entertaining the festival on October 8 with a show at Morley Town Hall that is expected to be crammed with jokes, anecdotes, short stories, poems, songs and readings from his recently published memoir My Name Is Daphne Fairfax. One of Britain’s most popular broadcasters Mark Radcliffe will be in conversation with Guardian music journalist Dave Simpson at Morley Town Hall on October 12, where they will be discussing Mark’s latest book Reelin’ In The Years - The Soundtrack of a Northern Life.

Music fans will be in for a double treat as Pauline Black, iconic leader of the 2 Tone band Selector, joins Yorkshire writer and broadcaster Ian Clayton to discuss the cultural and musical shifts that took place in the 1980s, later that evening.

The UK’s number one best-selling crime writer Ian Rankin will be at Morley Town Hall on October 13 in an event being billed as a must for crime fans.

The Edinburgh-based author will be talking about his new series of books featuring Insp Malcolm Fox and the book’s subject matters - police corruption, political turmoil, terrorism and secession.

In a event which wil be close to the hearts of many Morley people, author and historian Juliet Gardiner will be speaking at St Andrew’s Church Hall about her book The Animals’ War on October 9. The book tells the story of how animals have played a key part in warfare from the First World War to the present day and the event will fittingly be held in a venue close to Morley’s animal memorial in Dartmouth Park.

The same day, historian and scientist Adam Hart-Davies will be discussing the small subject of time itself and his recent work The Book of Time.

Another historian, Lucy Worlsley, will be enjoying tea and cakes with an audience at the town hall on October 15 when she will be talking about her recent book and BBC television series If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home.

Other authors appearing at the festival will be Orange Prize for Fiction shortlised writer Emma Henderson, Juliet Barker who will be discussing her acclaimed biography of The Brontes in an event at Gildersome Conservative Club and former policeman turned writer Mike Pannett, who will be making his second appearance in Morley.

Also back by popular demand will be Les Barker, the comic folk singer who went down a storm last year.

Running alongside the star names will be a series of creative workshops and children’s activities which will kick off with popular children’s author Steve Hartley, who will be bringing a hilarious show to Morley Library based on his Danny Baker - Record Breaker books.

Morley Literature Festival takes place from October 8-16 and tickets are on sale now from The Grand Theatre, Leeds, or by calling 0844 8482706.

For tickets, the full programme and more information about every event taking place during the week, go to

Also, keep checking and the Observer & Advertiser each week for all the festival news.